I had been living in the Philippine’s for several months by now, and continued to spend time with Terte, the wonderful old healer. In fact, a number of us had become his students.
One day, he invited this small group to travel with him on what he called a mission. This turned out to be a long journey, travelling via a Jeepney to isolated areas along bumpy dusty roads to attend to peoples healing needs. We were often worn out and battered after these journeys. Terte seemed unfazed. The Philippines was under martial law in 1975, so travelling had to take place outside of curfew hours, which meant we would drive during the day and conduct healing services in the evenings.
Wherever we went, hundreds of people seemed to simply appear. Terte was the most famous of healers and word spread quickly that he was coming. There were so many people, that it wasn’t usual for Terte (and his assistants - us) to work well past midnight. No one was ever turned away. We would finish the healing service, and wait until 3am when the curfew was lifted, then continue on to the next village, arriving in time for breakfast. On one occasion, we even politely ate six breakfasts, as different families would invite us into their homes and generously produce yet another one. I worked out later that they were all trying to outdo each other at the expense of our overburdened stomachs.
One night, in the middle of the healing service, Terte called me forward.
“Peter, you can do this one. It’s a kidney stone,” he said, poking at the back of a young man lying on the wooden bench.
“Me? I can’t do that,” I said.
“That’s your problem - a lack of belief in yourself,” Terte said, shaking his head.
“Come, come. I will help you,” he said, motioning me forward.
Terte held his hands about half a metre above the young man, lying quietly on the bench.
“Point your finger there,” he said indicating the kidney region. “Now concentrate and push you finger into his body.”
Although I had no conscious idea what to do, I did as he instructed; I pushed on the skin in the area he pointed, my finger indenting the flesh. Suddenly I felt my finger slipping through the skin into the patient.
“What do I do now?!” I said in disbelief at what had just happened.
I could feel a warm energy on the back of my hands. I looked up at Terte’s hand, still held above mine. He smiled.
“Concentrate. Push deeper,” my instructor said.
“Can you feel it?”
“Yes, I feel something,” I said, grasping something hard come between my thumb and forefinger.
“Pull it out!” exclaimed an excited Terte.
I did as instructed and held up a small round stone. Terte promptly grabbed it, placed on the table and banged with his fist. The little stone disintegrated into dust. I remembered thinking to myself “why did he do that?” I wanted the evidence that I had actually done psychic surgery, but alas it was now just a pile of dust!
“I told you that you could do it,” Terte exclaimed.
For about 10 seconds, my ego went into the clouds. Later when I tried it again, this time without the help of the little master, I found that I couldn’t reproduce what I had done with Terte’s assistance. I had only been able to perform the healing with his help. I was under no illusion that Terte had done the healing using my hand.
I was later to come to realise that he was trying to lift my belief in myself.
Terte often told us that he didn’t need to perform psychic surgery; that he only did it this way so people would believe. He had learnt that seeing was believing.
“I only need to point my finger,” he said at first.
Then later, “all I need to do is to focus my concentration.”
This was to be my first lesson on the power of focus and intent, something I was later to find to be the key in my later career as a therapist.
So that was the extent of my psychic surgery career - one operation, albeit at my mentor’s doing.
“Don’t try to live another’s gift,” the old master used to say. “Find what it is that you can do, find your gift and be happy with that.
“Stick to what you are good at.”
In time, I came to know and understand the value of this advice.
More to come in the fourth and final post in this Psychic Surgery series...
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